Conventional wisdom tells there are two sides to every story. Sometimes, one side represents the science, facts, and figures. Sometimes, the other side represents emotions and plays on unfounded facts. As natural gas is extracted thru hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking,” some people see this effort as a direct attack on mother earth; meanwhile, others see this as a blessing that has been bestowed upon us at a critical point in America’s development. Let’s first examine the group that lets fear conjecture run emotion and baseless facts guide their opinions and efforts to accepting natural gas in Pennsylvania.
The 2010 documentary Gas Land, seems to have captured the imagination of these Americans that think any new methods or efforts to tap in to our natural resources is a fraudulent assault on our environment and the earth’s natural beauty. Later, we will examine why this represents a set of a compilation of very imaginative fiction. The emotional tide is coming to shore with a cargo of incidental experiences that cannot be consolidated into a coherent position about fracking.
One of Gas Land’s flagship examples of what fracking does to the environment is the clip of the Smith family’s sink. This clip shows a family’s kitchen sink water faucet dispensing some liquid that would commonly be believed to be water. The lady stands at the sink with a regular box of matches and a match in her hand. Then, she turns on the faucet to let the water run, while striking the match along the box. She proceeded by extends her arm to put the burning match near the tap streaming, and shows the running water suddenly ignite. The voice on instantly blames the fracking business. The unfounded claim, that it is frac that caused this oddity, is based solely on the announcer’s voice and opinion. Are we to believe that fracking can turn water into fuel? That is the claim. The facts will show that the ground water in Dimmick, Pennsylvania has had naturally occurring methane since the town was founded in 1876. The anti-fracking movement never likes to look at pre-existing conditions, but they are quick to blame fracking for these earthly anomalies.
The anti-fracking movement also enjoys postulating that the environmental damage begins with access roads and land clearing. No fracking operations have been granted immunity from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) land use regulations. Clear cutting is often stated as the start of well pad site preparations that results in further run off, stream pollution, and by loss of wildlife.
In reality, many debaters claim that the anti-fracking movement is...